81 projects now battle for 10 grants in the Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative

December 17, 2019
Category: Fact-Checking,IFCN

The Fact-Checking Innovation Initiative has just closed its first round with impressive numbers. A total of 95 projects from all over the world were submitted for evaluation and 81 of them have been approved to pass on to the next phase.

Participants now must fill out a special form and send it to the International Fact-Checking Network before Jan. 17 in which they detail the steps they will take to execute their projects and how they would spend the budget. A selection committee of 11 people will review all these documents and announce 10 winners Feb. 28.

The Fact-checking Innovation Initiative, a joint project of the Facebook Journalism Project and the IFCN, was launched to support innovation projects, new formats and technologies that will help benefit the broader global fact-checking ecosystem.

Three tiers of grants were fixed and applicants had to choose one of them while registering their projects. A total of 41 applications sent to the next phase seek a $50,000 grant; 35 requested $70,000 and five picked the lowest tier, expecting to earn $15,000 from the initiative.

IFCN’s verified signatories are responsible for 50% of the projects that were sent to the second round. The other half is made up of new fact-checking organizations or entities that have partnered with these units to work together.

To participate in the initiative, applicants had to be either a proven fact-checking organization or have a memorandum of understanding signed by a team of fact-checkers agreeing to develop the project in partnership.

The vast majority of applications (72) will need more than six months to deliver the product/project sent to the initiative. Only nine participants said they can show their final results in less than a semester.

The selection committee is a multidisciplinary group of fact-checkers and journalism experts, as well as employees of the IFCN and Facebook. Members of the committee can request interviews with applicants about their projects while analyzing them. The selection criteria are public and can be read here.